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Ampera Advocate
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Peter
I'm north of Harborough so also pretty close. I may even have seen you one day in Corby as I pass through regularly and spotted an Ampera on one occasion.

Further to my entry higher up in this thread, I haven't yet had the 12V battery looked at. Partly through lack of time and partly to see if time and experience produces a different solution.

After the first occasion with my newly acquired MY13, it has done it once since. On that second occasion, the symptoms were not quite the same and the solution that worked before didn't work. After trying a number of different combinations of fuse removals, I got going again but the message reappeared each time I started the car and couldn't be cleared. Despite the message being there, I was able to drive the car on each of the subsequent occasions.

This morning, the message had cleared itself. I've therefore not been able to determine any logic to when it happens or how to be certain you can either start the car or clear the message. I agree with Russ' comment about the loading on the steering when you park. Perhaps the only conclusion is that it's just one of those things with the Ampera and you should remember to park straight; ideally on the flat. I'm not yet convinced that a battery change will make any difference.
 

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Maybe it's a local thing?
Bad Vauxhall Karma in M.Harborough area ;)
I also believe there is no logic in it. It happened to me twice now in 9 days of driving it.
However I was not aware of this thread so I can't remember about parking habits prior to this 2 occasions.
I park straight now as well as use handbrake on uneven roads.
No messages as of yet so there is definitely connection between straight parking and fault appearing.
I got white ampera SH14 plate (easy memorise 1st 2 letters :rolleyes:)
I travel 5 times a day to M H. for a dog walk so if anyone wants to join just nip to Dingley village for a walk and chat (and drink as I get my coffee flask).
 

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The steering lock message will crop up, no matter how perfectly you park the car & straighten the wheels. Even if you have brand-new 12V battery & the latest lock motor. I've had about 3 such warnings over the last 3-4 months, despite perfect parking and all the latest bits fitted. Now't to be done I'm afraid, just ignore it.

Re 12V battery, see threads here:
Ampera engine light on and unable to charge

... and to actually replace it (simple Diy job, saves £££), see here:
Ampera 12V Battery Replacement Process
 

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Hi all, had the 'Service Steering Column Lock' error the other day. After doing what everyone else would do and google the error, i decided to make a short video on what fixed the issue for us. The long shot is that removing fuse F2 in the fuse compartment located at the side of the dash at the drivers side of the car resolved the issue.

For what it's worth, I'm going to speak to Vauxhall next week as the car is still under warranty until November this year.

The video link is below.

Although we refer here to THE service steering lock error, I'd say that in fact there are two separate errors and experiences.

The first time I had the message, I was unable to start the car, the steering wheel was locked in place and it was only by removing 2 fuses (including the F2 one mentioned) that I was able to get back on the road.

At the moment, I am getting the same message every time I get into the car but it never prevents me from driving away. Oddly, I can't find a way to clear the message from the dash but sometimes it does go away during driving and then it comes back when I next go to start the car.

I'm wondering whether there is a known fix for the latter issue? Can I stop the message being generated somehow or is there a part that can be replaced? If that was possible, it would presumably stop it occurring in the event of the former, more serious, fault. However, I perhaps wouldn't need to get that message as the fact that the steering wheel was locked would effectively tell me what the error is.
 

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I read somewhere that one of the problems was a Canbus timing problem, and the car's software got confused somewhere. Dunno if this is the case, but can well believe that this could happen, especially as the US Volts don't have this mechanical lock fitted so the software for it was probably just chucked into the Uk code without any testing beforehand. Do the EU Volts/Amperas have this problem/lock unit?

But there's a definite possible mechanical failure issue as well, I stripped an original motor and it showed signs of badly overheating consistent with trying to retract/insert a locking bolt with too much friction around. So I avoid the mechanicals by parking dead straight, and having had the latest lock fitted might help with that issue. But there's still a gremlin in there, so the F2 fuse and even disconnecting the 12V Earth terminal for 5 mins might be necessary as well to fully reset the software. That said, I've been ok for the last 3 years simply ignoring the error, and haven't been bricked by it.
 

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I would sign to post above.
I read this thread after having the message on 2 occasions and started leaving the car parked 0 degrees straight.
Been 1000+ miles of driving now and not a single message on the display.
I must admit I also stopped using the door handle buttons (I can leave with using remote only no problems as I always did).
Not sure if it has something to do with it bit it seems car likes these 2 changes and been fault/message free since I adjusted my style to the advice given on our forum.
Thank you guys.
I hope it will help the others too.
 

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The steering lock message will crop up, no matter how perfectly you park the car & straighten the wheels. Even if you have brand-new 12V battery & the latest lock motor. I've had about 3 such warnings over the last 3-4 months, despite perfect parking and all the latest bits fitted. Now't to be done I'm afraid, just ignore it.
I agree with Andy, whatever I do, the message does come and go and come back again a little while later. I've just had a 2 week break from the message but yesterday it started again even though I park straight and never use the door buttons.

However, getting the message on its own has never stopped me driving the car away. The same message will appear when the steering column is actually locked and there is no way to start the car. That is when you need to resort to pulling one or more fuses.

There is 1 symptom and 2 causes in my view.
 

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I almost always forget to straighten the steering and often leave it pre-loaded as well as use the rear door buttons all the while (fronts don't work) but very rarely do I get the "service steering" message and never yet have had to "pull the fuse".
Not that it doesn't give me a minor scare when it does appear!

The car recently refused to charge one day and flagged the amber engine LED.
I took a look at the faults with my OBD2 dongle and noted the air con pressure was low along with a couple of other codes.
The air con pressure low has appeared a few times in the past few years and is always reset.

Another reset has the car working perfectly as before.

DAB stopped working last week but was ok again next day. I think its called "quirky or character". :LOL:
 

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Mine had its annual service this week and I asked them to check for any recent fault codes. Despite the regular occurrence of the "Service steering lock" message, there were apparently no fault codes recorded.
 

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Brilliant help.

I occasionally got the Service Steering Locj message, but it didn’t stop anything.
Today my car went completely fruit loop, saying “Turn Steering Lock To Start”. But it wouldn’t turn off, and the steering was impossible to turn. The car refused to shift out of park.
Leaving the car to sulk for 10 mins, I was able to turn it off. I then pulled the red fuse out, and was able to start it without it going mad. I was then able to run it off, put the fuse back in, and it all started ok.
The car is 7 years old, and what’s different this weekend is we’re away camping and haven’t plugged it in. I guess the 12V battery is coming to the end of its life, but the problem has been masked by the car being always plugged in.

Many thanks for this thread! A real life saver!
 

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Hi all, had the 'Service Steering Column Lock' error the other day. After doing what everyone else would do and google the error, i decided to make a short video on what fixed the issue for us. The long shot is that removing fuse F2 in the fuse compartment located at the side of the dash at the drivers side of the car resolved the issue.

For what it's worth, I'm going to speak to Vauxhall next week as the car is still under warranty until November this year.

The video link is below.

Hello. Removing the f2 fuse didn't work for me. What was the sequence again? I hadda disconnect the 12v battery. That's the fourth time in a 100,000 miles.
 

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Just shows how advanced and forward thinking Tesla are. This problem could certainly be fixed or at least improved with a software update but I won't hold my breath.
It is clearly not fit for purpose and should have been recalled with a sensibly designed actuator that does not require the scalextric toy motor inside to be driven to stall each time it is used.
Just a choice of using the steering lock or not in the config would have been nice.
 

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Hi all, had the 'Service Steering Column Lock' error the other day. After doing what everyone else would do and google the error, i decided to make a short video on what fixed the issue for us. The long shot is that removing fuse F2 in the fuse compartment located at the side of the dash at the drivers side of the car resolved the issue.

For what it's worth, I'm going to speak to Vauxhall next week as the car is still under warranty until November this year.

The video link is below.

Hi all, had the 'Service Steering Column Lock' error the other day. After doing what everyone else would do and google the error, i decided to make a short video on what fixed the issue for us. The long shot is that removing fuse F2 in the fuse compartment located at the side of the dash at the drivers side of the car resolved the issue.

For what it's worth, I'm going to speak to Vauxhall next week as the car
Had a stranded Ampera this week with the same issue, this video saved my day, many thanks!!!
Hi all, had the 'Service Steering Column Lock' error the other day. After doing what everyone else would do and google the error, i decided to make a short video on what fixed the issue for us. The long shot is that removing fuse F2 in the fuse compartment located at the side of the dash at the drivers side of the car resolved the issue.

For what it's worth, I'm going to speak to Vauxhall next week as the car is still under warranty until November this year.

The video link is below.

Had the same fault this week, 120 miles from home, video saved my day, thanks!!!
 

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Hi all, had the 'Service Steering Column Lock' error the other day. After doing what everyone else would do and google the error, i decided to make a short video on what fixed the issue for us. The long shot is that removing fuse F2 in the fuse compartment located at the side of the dash at the drivers side of the car resolved the issue.

For what it's worth, I'm going to speak to Vauxhall next week as the car is still under warranty until November this year.

The video link is below.

Thanks, I had this once before about 3 years ago. Just got stuck, couldn’t turn car off, couldn’t shift from park, but couldn’t remember which fuse. I’ve now lulled it too.
 

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If you need to pull the fuse, that is a final warning and the steering lock must be changed as soon as possible.
It is still available on Ebay for around £80 from the US and whilst not a ten minute job, can be replaced by the average spanner man.
 

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If you need to pull the fuse, that is a final warning and the steering lock must be changed as soon as possible.
It is still available on Ebay for around £80 from the US and whilst not a ten minute job, can be replaced by the average spanner man.
Thanks Russ for the info.
Looking for it now.
 

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If you need to pull the fuse, that is a final warning and the steering lock must be changed as soon as possible.
It is still available on Ebay for around £80 from the US and whilst not a ten minute job, can be replaced by the average spanner man.
Hi Russ, I don’t suppose you have a link?
 

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Hi @Specialist1 it took me a while to find the links but here they are.
This is the updated controller and shipping from the US is in days.
I would recommend that anyone with an Ampera/Volt buys one and keeps it in the glove compartment just in case.
Link below to a thread that describes the lock and problems a lot of us had in the past.



You have a superb car but some parts from the parts bin leave a lot to be desired. Just imaging how the car would sell today against all the short range hybrids coming out of the woodwork eight years after the Volt/Ampera.
 

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I was just messaged by Ebay that the supplier of these steering locks has just reduced their price.
Now available for around £70 plus P&P (£15) and in my experience arrives in less than a week which is probably quicker than Vauxhall can do it and very much cheaper.

Anyone who has an original steering lock would be best advised to get one whilst they are still readily available. It can be swapped by anyone who can carry a spanner although fiddly and is safe to do so as it simply plugs in.

 
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